A lettings agent who also acts on behalf of tenants against landlords and agents claims to have received 1,000 enquiries from frustrated private and social sector renters.
Ajay Jagota - who runs a private lettings agency of his own in the north of England and used to operate a deposit alternative service - now also heads a company called Veriwise which takes on housing repair claims and deposit disputes on behalf of tenants.
He says he has just added a litigation expert to its team which “responds to the hundreds of cries for help it receives each week from tenants sick of putting up with broken boilers, leaking roofs and damp and mouldy bedrooms.”
Jagota says: “Official figures show that almost a quarter of privately rented homes and more than one in 10 socially-rented homes fail to meet minimum legal standards and that 27 per cent of UK households currently have damp or mould patches on the walls.
“Even so we are astonished by the number of tenants who come to us every day to tell us that they can’t get their landlords or letting agents to make the most essential of repairs.
“Tenants shouldn’t have to be coming to us with questions like ‘how long can a landlord leave you without heating’ – especially over winter – but that’s exactly what they are doing.
“Up and down the country there are tenants who are living day-in day-out in disgusting or downright dangerous properties.”
Veriwise claims it “takes on housing disrepair and deposits that have not been registered claims on behalf of all renters, negotiating with councils, private landlords or letting agents to get property maintenance issues fixed quickly or ensure the regulatory responsibilities of landlords are adhered to and if applicable can make a claim for compensation for tenants.”
In cases where the landlord or agent does not comply Veriwise claims to have “a growing panel of solicitors who can take the case to court to ensure the landlord or agent complies and pays any compensation.”